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Women for Hire

Women for Hire

Prostitution and Sexuality in France after 1850

Alain Corbin

Translated by Alan Sheridan

ISBN 9780674955448

Publication date: 09/01/1996

Dispelling the lurid stereotypes portrayed in fiction, Alain Corbin depicts prostitution in nineteenth-century France not as a vice, crime, or disease, but as a well-organized business. Corbin reveals how the brothel served the sex industry in the same way that the factory served manufacturing: it provided an institution for the efficient and profitable sale of services.


  • Majestic, path-breaking… The first systematic investigation of the political and economic aspects of the French sex trade.

    —Francine du Plessix Gray, New York Review of Books


  • Alain Corbin is Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
  • Alan Sheridan is the author of Michel Foucault: The Will to Truth. He has also translated over 50 books, including works by Sartre, Lacan, and Foucault.

Book Details

  • 512 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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